Should You Follow a Gluten-Free Diet?

Stop procrastinating. It may be time for you to change your diet.
Stop procrastinating. It may be time for you to change your gluten-filled diet. (iStock photo )

For those who have been diagnosed as having celiac disease, changing your diet is necessary for the natural healing process to begin.

For those individuals who aren't experiencing symptoms of intolerance of gluten, there may still be a need to remove the foods from the diet.

Celiac Disease: The Difference

Individuals with celiac disease suffer from physical challenges when they eat foods with gluten as well as proteins. The development of issues comes when gluten enters the smaller intestine. The villi present within the bowels of these people are flattened and their function is ineffective. Medical issues of the following nature may become present: bone loss, vitamin deficiencies, malabsorption issues, weight gains or losses, as well as inflammation diseases. The individuals may also be suffering from intestinal bloat, gastric pain, along with symptoms of diarrhea.

Grain Processing Changed

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Over the years, the processing of many grains has changed. This is one contributing factor to more individuals becoming gluten intolerant. In years past, grains were processed through lacto-fermentation. Now, grains are processed using a hybridization process which allows the end product gained to be more fruitful. In many cases, the size of crop gained is twice than in the past.

Dr. J. Axe, a physician of natural medicine, agrees this change is one reason more people are becoming gluten sensitive. He also notes there is a clear connection between the gut and the brain. In other words, a lot of what is going on in our mind is closely related to what is happening in our gut. This can be related to having a good mental status as well as a bad mental status. Inflammation issues in the gut can cause cerebral clarity to be decreased (often termed brain fogging).

Going Gluten Free

For those going gluten free, there are a few things to consider. It is important to stick with only fresh produce and add mainly lean proteins to the diet. Gluten free grains are an option to add to menu plans. The main thing to remember is keeping the diet balanced for the best possible health outcomes.

When looking at gluten-free products on the market, they aren't all a wise choice. Some are still considered to be "junk foods" and should be limited. Some of the junk food items include various crackers, pretzels, cookies, and the like. So, think before you buy.

Symptomatic Problems

Symptomatic problems can occur when an individual decides to go gluten free.

Withdrawals can occur and cause the body to develop headaches and display intense cravings. Nutritional deficiencies can also become a challenge when moving to consuming no gluten. Weight gain can also be another problem for the individual who is going gluten free. This can be due in part to using gluten free alternatives which may be higher in fat content and calories.

Trudy Scott, a nutrition specialist and writer, explains sensitivity to gluten does create symptoms within the body for many including depressions, phobias, anxieties, irritabilities as well as mood swings. This is primarily due to imbalances within the chemicals of the brain, more than expected in part to gluten intake.

Positive Changes

Positive changes can also occur to those individuals reducing gluten in their daily diets. Once through the transition stage, individuals can experience the following: decreased depression, lessened anxiety, improved digestion, more energy, less bloating, decreased diarrhea, and weight loss. Some people will naturally lose excess weight by eliminating gluten from the diet.

The Alimentary Pharmacology and Theraputics found there is a relation in some individuals between gluten intake and a change in levels of cortisol as well as serotonin within the brain. Lower levels of serotonin is being seen in studies after the consumption of wheat. Serotonin is also known as the "happy chemical" in the body as it helps provide great feelings naturally.

Similarly, a decrease in inflammation within the intestines can provide huge positive results for the individual. Gut leakage can be prevented, auto immune issues deterred, and bowel diseases avoided for many simply by removing gluten from the individual's diet.

Don Colbert, M.Dhas been board-certified in Family Practice for over 25 years and practices Anti-Aging and Integrative medicine. He is a New York Times best-selling author of books such as The Bible Cure Series, What Would Jesus Eat, Deadly Emotions, What You Don't Know May Be Killing You, and many more with over 10 million books sold. He is the Medical Director of the Divine Health Wellness Center in Orlando, Florida, where he has treated over 50,000 patients.

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